Of All The Gin Joints

This week’s stormy weather have had another undisired effect. The plastic screen I had put up a few weeks ago had blown away and the tenants from last year had again quickly moved in. They are hornets or calibrone as they are in Italian. They are big here and I mean big. About the size of half my index finger. in fact I tried to photo one crawling over my finger so you could see it

hornet size

however Geraldine dissuaded me of this  and I must admit after later events it was foolish to do !

Last year we bought a spay that destroys the nest and kills the lot but it does add that you need to get rid of all traces or they will return next year. Hence the plastic and without it the return.

I managed to get a shot of the nest

hornet nest

and then remembered that last year these big boys were fairly docile when sprayed from 18 feet away. I also knew that Raid has an amazing effect on them in that one squirt and they go down like they were pole axed. So rather than waste a good  €7.50 on another can of nest spray I ignored Geraldine’s advice to leave well alone and marched around the side of the house to get up close and nasty with them. As I approached them whistling quietly to hide my nerves two came out of the nest clearly intent on protecting the queen. This didn’t happen last year and  so without even drawing my trusty Raid can I took off like a rocket.  However there was nothing docile about these guys, they gave chase and I was stung. Now I won’t bore you with details of the pain I was in. These boys pack a punch. My dear one showed not an ounce of sympathy as for some unknown reason she believed it was my fault. I mean I ask you.  So as I sat nursing my now swollen wound and awaiting my eyes to close and my tongue to swell up and block my air passages I pondered the unfairness of life when you get blamed for everything.

In fact my tongue didn’t swell and my eyes remained okay to drive to the bar for some medicinal beer. There I told Pasquale of my fate expecting at least a fellow guy to be sympathetic. Instead he hooted with laughter and told everyone else of my crazy exploits.

It was only last night at a dinner for some swiss visitors that at least someone in the group said how painful a hornet sting is and that most people go to hospital for treatment. Where did you go she asked ? err the bar actually which  again seemed to do away with the little sympathy I was getting .

The can of nest spray I have now bought has a word that I had no idea came from Latin  (my naval college did seamanship instead of Latin thank goodness) scappa. Now  scarper was something we used to shout when the idea was get out fast and in Italian it means to escape. So the can instruction says spray from 18 feet and run like hell. So I have another fun Italian word to use rather than the simple run. I have favourite Italian words and the latest is squillo (remember  in Italian the letter i is pronounced ee so squeelo). It means ring or call and is used about mobile phones . Give me a squillo and the verb is  squillare so sitting somewhere someone says in Italian whose phone it calls and you reply sorry that is mine squealing, I must have sat on it !!

Anyway the can says the best time to spray is very early in the morning first light is best so Pasquale has kindly agreed to come just before 5 a.m. on his way to work tomorrow        (yes Sunday) and spray if I leave the can and a heavy coat outside.

He was the first guy we ever met in the bar and when he does these favours I often think he must go home sometimes and say to his family the lines Humphrey Bogart says in Casablanca

instead of she him but otherwise the same sentiment  ! oh and the clip does confirm Boggie never said play it again Sam !


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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One Response to Of All The Gin Joints

  1. Billy Macmillan says:

    I find a gas blowtorch at 5 am very effective, especially when administered naked! Me not them!

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